My First Career: A SAHM

SAHM? — STAY AT HOME MOM

There is so much noise in the world today. So much that you can’t escape… it seems. There are so many “self help” influencers out there today on social media as well as ‘best sellers’ books. Many are spreading positivity and how to better yourself. Many influencers are posting much about “body positivity”, “how to become a boss babe”, how to work in the “corporate world” while also being a great mom, etc. And, hey, hats off to any mom out there who can juggle both a career and being a mom! Much of what we read in today’s society is geared to persuading women how to build a career, get ahead, get more pay!, etc., all the while dismissing the importance of being a mother first. (I know there will be much debate on this subject, but my goal is to encourage other moms to not be afraid of making the decision to stay at home.)

I want to write about “FAMILY” for a minute. Since I basically am from a family and have a family, and I have three kids of my own, I guess you can say I have experience with “FAMILY”. Many of us do.

I want to reach out to the younger couples who are considering starting a family of their own and who struggle with making the decision on child care; who will take care of the children, and who will work. It really is a tough decision to make. Income plays a huge part in a family, and I understand that it can partly also control the narrative.

When I married my high school sweetheart back in 1996 (24 years, yay us!), I had just graduated from college six months earlier. I was ready to jump into the workforce and start my career. Honestly, I told myself that I would never be a stay at home mom. I said that, how insane! I was ready to work and earn a good living….just like my husband.

Fast forward to December 1997, my firstborn came into the world. Everything changed. Not only did my body change so did my mind, and we both decided that I would stay home with our son. (I was actually the lucky one!) Then, 19 months later our daughter was born, and then fast forward 18 more months, our youngest was born. Three children in four years and I was a full-on- stay-at-home-mom! Too bad ‘experienced diaper changer’ couldn’t be added to my resume, cause, man I rocked the diaper changing station!!

My mindset changed for me to become a stay at home mom for two reasons. One, I would basically be working to pay for child care for my three children— so that did not make sense. Two, and most importantly, we decided we wanted to rear our own children. I did not want anyone else to do the job that was given to me by God. We understood some of the financial challenges that we would face by being a one-income household, and we would have to make sacrifices on material things or experiences, but the positives outweighed the challenges.

Why of course times got tricky and tiring with my husband’s work travel schedule. Many times he would fly in from another country, get off a plane, come home and go out to a ballfield to coach, all while being jet-lagged. So needless to say, we were both exhausted at times. But pouring into our children and being present was key and this is the life we choose for our family.

As I reflect back on these early years, I can see that God provided (in many other ways than just financially) for our family and we thank Him for leading us. Looking back, it is now clear how being a staying home mom vs. building a career was more beneficial in the long run. Being able to pour into our children and teach them the Biblical right from wrong will never be taken for granted. We chose/choose to have family meals together, go to church together, pray together, and have fun together.

To all the younger women of today who are facing a decision about becoming a stay-at-home-mom or building a career— Your career can wait, BUT, you can’t get this time back with your children. And you, new mama to be, deserve to rear your kids, teach them the rights from wrongs and instill in them the values that you want for them. Remember, “Children are a gift from God, they are His reward” -Psalm 127:3.

So please don’t let the noises of today’s world confuse you and tell you that you are better off by choosing and building a career. You may have financial sacrifices to make by being the CEO of your home, but the reward is so worth it. You do you, and soak up every minute you can with your children. You will thank yourself in the long run, even if you are behind the career curve. Family (including values and morals) is truly what matters. The years spent pouring into your children are a gift. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Because soon my friend, they will grow up and go off to college.

xo,

Elisabeth

PS – I realize that family dynamics vary in today’s society. These are my experiences and thoughts based on a traditional family with a mother and father.


Fear is a liar!

Listening to your father fall to the ground with a massive heart attack — at the age of nine. Running to my aunt and uncle’s home through the woods to get help. Arriving back home watching my brother perform CPR on my dad, while hearing the loud sounds of the ambulance arrive.

That is fear, and that was me.

Fear of not really understanding what was going on in that very moment. Fear can come over you like a storm rolling in, in the middle of the night, pitch black outside, blaring with roaring thunder and crackling flashes of lightning hitting trees. That, was what I was fearful of at the age of nine. Storms — not death.

I was nine when my father died of a sudden heart attack and went to be with the Lord. Before him, I had experienced the death of two grandfathers. I faintly remember those times, but I did understand what it was to lose someone you loved. No one can prepare you for loss. Because loss is something personal. No one can “feel” what you’re are “feeling”. They can understand it, possibly, if they have also lost someone near and dear, but they can not actually FEEL what you are going through. Everyone experiences loss differently. We are all different, because God made us that way.

I grew up in the perfect home with a mother and father and older brother. Heck, in my eyes we were the perfect little family. We ate together, played together, prayed together and went to church every Sunday. We ate lunches at my grandmother’s home every Saturday with my extended family. It truly was the best upbringing any little girl could ask for. My mom worked for a bank and my dad was a lineman for the power company. Good, hard working, American, God loving parents. I was lucky. I was (am) blessed.

I see times changing and there is so much fear in the world. Many times fear is driven, honestly, by not being informed or not relying on what really matters in life (and I realize this could be debatable on what really matters). Of course we are all human which makes us fearful. But there is hope in not fearing things that life throws at you. You can gain peace in knowing that we are told in Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” It seems so simple, yet still so hard. To give it all over to God to let him guide you and your thoughts and to be comforted.

I hope this helps someone who is anxious, fearful, or just worrying about what tomorrow brings. God is so good. I share this with you because there have been many times in my life that fear has crept in, but I know fear is a liar and God is bigger than any of my fears.

XO,

Elisabeth


Never underestimate a Sunset

Daily Sunset off our lanai. No filter needed.

Is this a dream? Am I really living the Hawaii dream?

Listening to the sound of the Avett Brothers playing in the background — watching another beautiful sunset — breezes blowing my hair as I type, while birds fly by chirping.

If you looked out over the ocean water and mountains, you would never know there was a world wide pandemic happening. Many of my neighbors sitting outside watching the sunset, having dinner on their lanai, laughing, talking on the phone, some even paddle boarding and fishing off the dock, and boats buzzing by — it’s like our own little world over here on this tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Life is still going on. People are adjusting to the new normal of the beaches and parks being partially shut down, having to wear masks when running out to the stores, essential work places and picking up take away dinners; and don’t forget the new social distancing practicing! It is real. Changes have happened.

My nightly entertainment is with my husband and sweet Jack Russell, Boone, watching the sun go down over the mountain. When I wake from this Hawaiian dream, I hope I never forget the wonderful feeling of sitting on my lanai watching every. single. sunset. They are so different each evening. The sky dances to put on its own spectacular color show. The colors change like a painter dipping his paintbrush between purple, orange, pink and yellow. Then, slowly and peacefully, the sun tucks away for the night. In addition to my music playing, the sound of the palm trees are sounds that call for an encore. The swaying of each branch is like a tiny musical instrument on a stage waiting to be heard. They have a voice too, ya know. We just have to be still and listen.

Instead of focusing on some of the more challenging issues due to this pandemic, I choose to see every sunset through the lens of gratitude and blessing. I do not negate seeing and understanding the rest of the world news and I continue to pray each day for my family, our country and our world, and those who are suffering. I know it is out there. I understand it is happening. But one thing that will never change throughout this is that our God is greater than any pandemic.

After all, just like the song, He has the whole world in His hands.

Sunset in Hawaii Kai, No filter needed.


The Should be’s…

The “should be’s” of today… there are so many.

I “should be” in Australia today with my hubby.

My Ash “should be” in Switzerland with her 60 other study abroad students.

My oldest “should be” back in Shepherd University getting ready to graduate college…. and on and on.

We all have our “should be’s”, right? Mine just happen to be first world should be’s. We had OUR plans. The ones WE made. Then something changed all that. Something earth shattering. Something that moved all the earth in a different direction. Some choose panic, some choose defiance, others choose to tune it out, and others choose and keep to themselves. And others fall on their knees and pray. Prayer is powerful y’all. I have seen God move mountains and He is the ONLY one who can heal us and our land. Keep your focus on what really matters these days. This too shall pass and those “should be’s” will come again… one way or another. In the end God is in control. Just let Him be.

As for now, I will reflect on wonderful memories from our recent trip to Switzerland. My husband and I got to spend 10 days with our daughter! Memories last, y’all. Make them. Cherish them!

Beautiful Zurich, beautiful daughter.
Beautiful city of Zurich
Exploring the city with my girl!
Dinner with friends!
View from our room of The Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Skiing Gornergrat, before it was closed off. It was crazy and visibility was zero!
The next day, skiing Zermatt. Beautiful blue skies!
Enjoyed every. single. snowflake. So much, we added another night’s stay!
Walking to see where Ash goes to class every day. Beautiful walk (hike!).
Classes everyday held at Franklin University.
Lugano, you’re beautiful. Thanks for the memories!